The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) announced today Frank Stronach the recipient of its ‘Earle I. Mack Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Champion Award’ for his dedication to improving the welfare and safety of Thoroughbred horses during and after their racing careers. Mr. Stronach will be honored August 7 during the TRF Saratoga Gala at the Saratoga City Center.
The award, endowed by Ambassador Earle Mack, Thoroughbred owner and philanthropist, is given each year to recipients for their dedication and compassion in the field of equine retirement. "We are extremely grateful to Ambassador Mack for endowing this award recognizing significant contributions to our sport and to the welfare of the Thoroughbred, and are particularly pleased to be presenting the inaugural awards to Mr. Stronach,” said George Grayson, President of the TRF.
Ambassador Mack has been involved with Thoroughbred racing and breeding since 1963. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Racing Association; Chairman of the New York State Racing Commission; and Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund. He has been a tireless advocate of the industry, serving as a key advisor to three New York Governors on Thoroughbred racing. In 2004, Mack was appointed United States Ambassador to Finland by then President George W. Bush. Mr. Stronach, a five-time Eclipse Award winning breeder and four-time Eclipse winning owner, operates Adena Springs, which has been Thoroughbred racing’s leading individual breeder in North America for eight consecutive years.
Mr. Stronach is Chairman of Stronach Entertainment Group, which owns and operates Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and the Maryland Jockey Club. Mr. Stronach has been a leader in supporting equine retirement, creating the first in-house retirement program at Adena Springs in 2004 and initiating the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care Program by matching funds donated by the FHBPA. He most recently announced the formation of the Santa Anita’s After-Care Program which will help match horses with loving owners who will make a lifelong commitment to their health, safety and well being.
Stronach said that Santa Anita would support the After-Care Program by matching the money currently taken from purses (one third of one percent) at Santa Anita and at Santa Anita’s recently announced Autumn Meet. The monies will be distributed to retirement programs throughout California by the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA).
“Frank Stronach has been a proactive leader in his long standing efforts to provide humane and safe retirements for our sport’s retirees,” Mack said. “His time, influence, and philanthropic endeavors have deservingly made him an outstanding individual in our industry. He is leading the way toward a solution of this and other important issues we face today. Our industry needs more pacesetters like Frank Stronach to step forward. I am proud that he will be the first recipient of the ‘Earle I. Mack Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Champion Award’ and cannot think of a more deserving honoree.